Technology and Long Distance Caregiving
According to a Metlife and National Alliance for Caregiving report, an estimated 34 million Americans are legal caregivers to their older parents. Furthermore, 15% of those Americans live at least one hour away. When it comes to a parent, you want to be there for them as they grow older– just as they were always there for you. But life isn’t always easy; sometimes we have to make difficult choices and distance comes between us.
However, just because your parent lives far away doesn’t mean you are without options. Technology makes it easier than ever to stay connected, ensure safety, and secure the services your parents need to live their best day to day lives.
Using Technology to Stay Connected
While phone calls were great in the past, today we’re lucky to have video calls and communication with the help of front facing camera phones, tablets, and laptops. Not only can you see your parent’s face as you catch up, but it’s also free. All it takes is an internet connection and the right applications. Gone are the days of collect calls and sky-high long distance bills.
Have a standing time to call in with your mom or dad. These regular check-ins will help you both feel secure while you are apart. Furthermore, schedule regular check-ins with their in-home nurses or caregivers you hire. Have them update you on any changes in health or needs. Speaking with them face to face will help build the necessary trust you need to put in a person taking care of your parent.
Using Technology to Ensure Safety
Keep your parents safe with the various technological tools invented in recent years for that very purpose. Invest in a mobile medical alert device they can carry in their pocket or on their purse. In case of a fall or other accident, you parent can use the device to contact a highly-trained certified response agent. This agent will identify their location and contact you and emergency services as needed.
Electronic medication management systems help keep inventory on your parent’s medication while also alerting them when it’s time to take them. These devices connect to the internet to garner necessary information about a med’s safety and even alert the pharmacy when it is time for a refill.
Nowadays it’s easier than ever to ensure your home’s safety with security system applications. These same apps can give you peace of mind regarding your parent’s house. Older people are often targeted by criminals. If there is suspicious activity around your parent’s home, you will be alerted and able to contact the proper authorities to ensure their safety.
Using Technology to Secure Services
Technology makes it easier than ever to connect with people whose job it is to lend a hand around the house. You can even hire someone to put together that big box of Swedish furniture that’s been sitting around for a month. Using the same trusted apps, you can find necessary services for your parent. Housekeepers and gardeners are all accessible. You can even hire someone to come over and take care of dog walking when your parent is unable to be active. These workers are vetted through the companies they work through, so you can feel safe about hiring them.
It’s not easy living far away from a parent when they need help. Thankfully, more and more seniors are able to stay at home thanks to the advancements in technology. Parents are able to communicate face-to-face with their kids thanks to modern phones and tablets. You can make sure he or she is secure and healthy with tools designed specifically for senior use. Finally, you can reach out to people in their community to stop by and help out when you are unable too. If you can’t be there, it’s the next best thing.